The Textile Design curriculum at Dame Alice Owen’s School aims to be inspiring, creative and practical. The study of textile design allows students to study the work of textile artists and fashion designers and understand how this can inspire their own work. All projects lead to finished creative textiles outcomes and in doing so will also teach valuable life skills of sewing and mending encouraging students to look after their clothes and become responsible citizens. Each year builds on the knowledge, skills and techniques gained in the previous year, becoming progressively more advanced.
At KS3, students study Textile Design for half of the school year each, in years 7, 8 and 9. Following this, AQA Textile Design is a popular option at GCSE and A Level and many of our students go on to study fashion and textile design at university and have successful careers in the fashion industry.
Our upper school textiles clubs, which run throughout the year, provide students with the opportunity to explore the subject in more depth. At KS3 we also offer knitting and sewing clubs, and these are popular with our younger students.
As a subject, Textile Design is ideally placed to help develop individuals who are knowledgeable about a diverse range of cultures, and who have been given an array of experiences and access to skills development.
During KS3 students will learn about the Mexican Day of the Dead Festival, and in a wider study of the culture, they will learn about the rich heritage of indigenous Mexican textiles and show their understanding by creating their own textile designs. As students’ progress they will also learn about the damage caused to the oceans by discarded plastic and organisations who are making changes to the way we deal with this problem within the fashion industry. We believe that this knowledge and understanding is key to becoming responsible citizens. Through creative practical activity they will try to solve their own problems around these issues.
KS3 Textile Design
Topics Usually Covered
Year 7 Mexican Textiles ‘Day of the Dead’ topics covered: Tie dye, hand embroidery, basic sewing machine skills, contextual research, creative practical activities leading to a finished cushion
Year 8 Bag for Life topics covered: Ocean plastics, recycling, sustainability, improved sewing machine skills applique, embroidery and applique, responding to the work of others, practical activities leading to a finished recycled bag
Year 9 Fashion project topics covered: sustainability and the fashion industry, fashion design, responding to the work of fashion designers, more advanced sewing machine skills, practical activities leading to a fashion hoodie or shirt
Please see our curriculum map for an overview of the topics being covered in our recovery programme this year.
Literacy and Numeracy in Textile Design
Literacy and numeracy are an important part of the textile design curriculum and are supported throughout our programmes of study in the following ways.
Literacy: Students research artists, designers and techniques. They annotate their work and analyse and evaluate their own work and the work of others. They peer assess student work. They discuss their own work.
Numeracy: is supported through accurate measuring, scaling, ratios and creating templates at KS3 leading to complex mathematical pattern drafting and all the measuring and fitting undertaken at KS4 and KS5 for garment construction and sculptural textiles.
GCSE Textiles Design
Students will study the subject through the AQA Textile Design route and develop skills in the design and creation of clothing and fashion for creative and commercial audiences, clients and consumers.
The course content covers the following topic areas: fashion design techniques, materials and tools such as pattern cutting, adornment, accessories and illustration on fabrics and garments with consideration of sustainable materials, recycling and ethical manufacture.
The GCSE will also allow students the opportunity to work in the companion fields of stitched, embellished and printed textiles, for use in creative and commercial industries such as fashion, costume and interiors.
The AQA GCSE (9–1) Textiles Design consists of two internally assessed and externally moderated components:
Component 1: Personal Portfolio (internally set) (60% of GCSE)
Component 2: Externally Set Assignment (40% of GCSE) 10 hour practical exam
A Level Fashion and Textile Design
The textile design course offers the opportunity to develop skills over a broad range of textile and fashion techniques and applications such as printing, weaving, knitting, embellishment and digital applications. Students at Dame Alice Owens school usually favour a product focussed Fashion Design route when conducting their personal investigation and examination units. However, students with an interest in other aspects of Textile Design are free to explore all areas of interest.
At A-level in component 1 students will develop work for a personal investigation into an idea, issue, concept or theme supported by written material. This will count for 60% of the total A-level marks. In component 2 students will produce personal work in response to one of eight exciting starting points which will count for 40% of the total A-level marks.
As a school Dame Alice Owen’s has had great success in the Young Fashion Designer Competition with many of our students being finalists or winners. In 2020 our students won first prize in both the GCSE and A Level categories.
- Textiles Curriculum Map (166KB)
Ms C Cerny (Head of Food and Textiles)